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Green Globe: India to 'comfortably achieve' Modi's 175-GW clean energy goal

SNL ImageAn Indian worker looks at solar panels from a watch tower at the Gujarat Solar Park at Charanka in Patan district, India, in 2012.
Source: Associated Press

Officials in India say the country is in position to "comfortably achieve" Prime Minister Narendra Modi's goal of 175,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, despite recent headwinds in the clean energy sector.

Amitabh Kant — who heads The National Institution for Transforming India, a government-supported think tank said in an Aug. 7 speech that cumulative installed capacity for renewables has nearly doubled from 35,500 MW in the 2013-14 period to about 70,000 MW in the 2017-18 period. In particular, installed solar-power capacity increased from 2,600 MW to 22,000 MW in the same period.

Raj Kumar Singh, the country's renewable energy minister, said in a note to the upper house of India's federal parliament that he is confident that India is making good progress on solar and other sources of renewable energy. Emphasizing these comments in an Aug. 8 press release, Modi's press office stated that "officials expressed confidence that India is on track to comfortably achieve the Prime Minister's target of 175 gigawatts renewable energy capacity by 2022."

The confident projections follow some recent setbacks for the industry. In July 2018, India announced its decision to impose a 25% safeguard duty on solar panel materials imported from China and Malaysia. The government also canceled its 2,000-MW wind tender after receiving bids for only 1,200 MW in total capacity.

Envision Energy Ltd, a China-based wind turbine technology company, has acquired a controlling stake in Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s electric vehicle battery business, the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, or AESC.

Envision will integrate its internet-of-things technology with AESC's lithium-ion batteries to make batteries and EV charging "more intelligent," Envision founder and CEO Lei Zhang said in an Aug. 3 news release.

"From an energy perspective, electric vehicles are mobile intelligent power stations and the growing number of electric vehicles will have a huge impact on the electricity grid," he said. "This will enable electric vehicles to be integrated into an energy ecosystem, and facilitate the intelligent, dynamic balancing of energy usage and generation in a world powered by fragmented renewable energy systems."

Envision said it plans to upgrade AESC's existing production lines in Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States to make "higher density, long-range electric batteries" and hopes to open new facilities in China to enter the growing Chinese EV market. Nissan will keep a minority equity stake in the business post-transaction. Neither company disclosed the specific equity stake for AESC.

Colombia's hopes for more renewable energy are finally materializing after the country's Ministry of Mines and energy launched its first auction for large-scale clean energy projects.

According to pv magazine, Colombia's government may allocate up to 1,000 MW of renewable energy generation capacity through solar, wind and biomass projects with more than 10 MW in capacity. Scheduled for January 2019, the auction will offer 10-year power purchase agreements. The announcement comes after the country's government issued a decree to support clean energy installation.

"This government was, is and will be the government that promoted the energy transition towards a sustainable energy mix, adaptable to climate change, and that provides security in the power supply," Germán Arce Zapata, Colombia's energy minister, said.

Elsewhere

* Century Wind Power and Bladt Industries A/S have entered a joint venture to participate in Taiwan's offshore wind market.

* Japan's Mitsui & Co. Ltd. completed its deal to acquire a 50% stake in Taiwanese offshore wind developer Yushan Energy PTE Ltd.

* France could see installed solar capacity more than triple through 2027 to nearly 28,000 MW.

* Germany-based utility E.ON SE said it is keeping an eye on the impact that Europe's summer heat wave will have on third-quarter earnings, particularly in its renewable energy business.

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